June 29, 2012

The Weeklies #219

The Weekly Number. 40, the number of laps Mia swam at yesterday's fund-raising swimathon. And 14, the number of laps Owen swam.

The Weekly Read. I was reading a blog about something not long ago when Mia walked into the room. The particular site I was reading had a review of The Search For Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi. She saw the cover art and said what's that? I told her I'd check it out. Since it targeted a slightly older audience, I downloaded it and read it to see if it was okay. And it was freaking awesome. This is old-school kid lit with vast and wonderful storytelling, fantastic writing, and something that sparks a kid's natural sense of wonder. I absolutely loved this book and am planning to read the sequel soon...and read both to Mia.

The Weekly Feedback. I loved your feedback on my ebooks post earlier this week. And I love the fact that so many of you are sticking with good old paper. I feel the need to explain myself. For years I lived with thousands of books in the house. Thousands. We still have thousands that I just couldn't part with. But it became a space issue for me. I made the switch, though, and while ebooks aren't the same, they still make for a wonderful reading experience. I've found so many fantastic books that I'd never have found otherwise. Nothing will ever replace the smell and feel of paper.

The Weekly TV Obsession. HGTV's Design Star. I can't help it.

The Weekly TV Goodbye. So long Ann Curry. We all knew that wasn't going to work out, right?

The Weekly Asshat. I'm not sure asshat is strong enough but Jerry Sandusky is finally behind bars.

The Weekly Court Victory. The Supreme Court upheld so-called Obamacare.

The Weekly Question. Did the Supreme Court get it right?

Posted by Chris at 7:31 AM | Comments (4)

June 27, 2012


Homeowners associations are silly. While I know there are some civic-minded folks who want to do right by their neighbors, all too often homeowners associations seem to be stocked with busybodies who have too little power in their professional lives and desperately cling to opportunities to feel important. Which is why I find it more than a little strange that I'm considering a run for our neighborhood's homeowners board.

See, a couple weeks ago word spread through the neighborhood swim team committee that the homeowners board felt like their power was being circumvented and, as a result, threatened not to open the pool this year. With the possible exception of getting naked, slathering themselves with honey and taking tango lessons with grizzly bears, I can think of no dumber move they could make.

The pool is the epicenter of our neighborhood. After a cold winter, the neighborhood thaws out and meets at the pool. We all find neighbors we've missed, opportunities to reconnect, and chances for our kids to form new friendships. Every Saturday it's crawling with swimmers from all over the area, competing in swim meets. And unlike the deadly serious leagues that surround us, ours is one where any kid who can make it across the pool can compete, where coaches happily jump in with the kids, and where all parents cheer for every child.

It's nothing short of remarkable and is probably my favorite thing about the summer. To threaten that is a crime.

So that's why I'm trying to develop my platform now, well ahead of next April's elections. It's pretty simple so far:

- I'll always protect the pool.
- I don't really care what color your shutters are.
- Playgrounds will always be freshly mulched.
- I'll support the reproductive rights of any gay, married immigrant.

Posted by Chris at 7:27 AM | Comments (9)

Book 'Em

Beth and I went to the mall this weekend. We hate the mall. This particular mall, however, happens to be the home of a wonderfully delicious high-end restaurant so we put aside our biases for a few hours.

Say what you want about the economy. People in our area haven't gotten the news. As we discovered after dinner while wandering the mall in search of presents for Mia's rapidly approaching birthday, the place was packed. And not just packed with teenagers cruising H&M, Abercrombie and Hollister. No, people were buying stuff. Lots of stuff. The place with the fewest paying customers - or customers in general - was the bookstore. And we found this out not because we actually needed a book but because we needed a restroom.

The bookstore we visited - a two-story Barnes & Noble - was empty. Half of the ground floor was devoted to Nooks. The remainder of the store was filled with massively spaced-out shelves, arranged to hide the fact that their inventory was nowhere close to the volume of books they stocked five years ago. I'm part of the problem. I used to go to bookstores once a week. These days I end up in one every three or four months. When I find something I like the looks of, I break out my phone, take a picture of the cover, and download the ebook when I get home. I'm afraid the bookstore is a dinosaur. I'm sad about that but I'm also realistic. Sure, I miss turning paper pages of a bound book but I can open my iPad and - almost instantly - get nearly any book I want. That's amazing. That's cooler than having a hover-car or a jetpack.

The honest and sad truth? The only reason people go to bookstores anymore is to pee.

How do you consume books?

Posted by Chris at 7:18 AM | Comments (29)

June 25, 2012

Parent Of The Year

I'm not going to lie or sugar-coat this: bribery is a tool in my parenting arsenal. And I firmly believe that any parent who tells you they've never bribed their kid is a liar.

There are two main types of parental bribery. There's for your own good bribery wherein you promise your kids something for doing some activity that somehow benefits them. Example: You can only have a donut if you eat something with a vast amount of protein because otherwise you'll feel like roadkill. Then there's bribery for self-preservation. Example: Sure, you can play on my iPhone until the food comes so I can have a real conversation with mommy.

Like I said, we're not above bribery and we're definitely guilty of handing off our iPhones when we're in a restaurant. A couple weeks ago when I got my iPhone back from Mia she said, I really love that driving game. I didn't think anything of it until later. I don't have a driving game I thought. Then that thought was gone. The next time we were in a restaurant I handed her my phone and she said oh good, I get to play that driving game. Again, I wondered what game she was talking about but then became deeply involved in a plate of food and forgot about it. Last weekend, at another restaurant, she handed my phone back to me while it was still on. And I suddenly realized what game she was talking about.

Grand Theft Auto.

Yeah, parent of the year material. Right here.

Posted by Chris at 6:41 AM | Comments (5)

Haiku For Monday #417

How is it almost
the end of June? This flying
time crap has to stop.

Posted by Chris at 6:38 AM

June 22, 2012

The Weeklies #218

The Weekly Wagon. For some strange reason I decided this should be a dry week. Yep, no beer. While I realize that's like The Skipper without Gilligan, I've actually found it interesting. I can't begin to explain how much more energy I have and how much better I've been sleeping. Kinda want a beer though.

The Weekly Event. Swim team! Over the past week, Mia's managed to score herself three first place victories. She might be short but she's fast!

The Weekly TV Addiction. Primevil, a BBC show now in it's fifth season. With the girls at rehearsal and the boy in bed, I'm digging some hot dinosaur action.

The Weekly Read. Watch Me Die by Lee Goldberg is like the literary equivalent of a Ho-Ho. It's not good pastry but its cheap and satisfies the craving for something crappy and sweet. Watch Me Die was not the greatest mystery ever. But it was entertaining, cheap, and fun. Would I read something else by Goldberg? Definitely.

The Weekly Music. I heard some clips that convinced me to buy North Atlantic Oscillation's Fog Electric. Never heard of them? Neither had I. But I'm damn glad I picked up the album. It's very mellow, haunting vocals and sparse instrumentation that comes together to form this really fantastic, moving album. I can't recommend this one enough.

The Weekly Awesome Thing My Son Said To Me. When I'm your age I hope I'm as tall as you so we can hug a lot and you won't have to pick me up.

The Weekly Question. What are you listening to right now? What artists are grabbing your attention?

Posted by Chris at 8:07 AM | Comments (8)

June 21, 2012


I've got nothing. I was at a swim meet until 9:30 last night. Got the kids in bed by 9:45 and managed to get dinner by, oh, 10:30 or so.

I can't complain though. It was pretty awesome. Mia swam in every single event - freestyle, back stroke, breast stroke, butterfly and the freestyle relay. Let me remind you, she's six. She was fantastic and the relay team was something to see - they absolutely flew through the water. It was magic.

So you'll forgive me if I don't have much. But hey, look at that. I guess I do.

Posted by Chris at 8:00 AM | Comments (1)

June 20, 2012


verb 1. to cause disgust (in someone). 2. +that: to be disgusted by (something) 3. to be creeped out

I'm not skeeved out by much. I suppose being a parent has something to do with that. It's hard to be grossed out after you've been slathered in the unholy trifecta of bodily fluids in a single day. There's really nowhere to go but up from that.

I'm not a huge fan of clowns but they don't really freak me out. I'm okay with snakes and most bugs. I don't eat meat but that's not out of fear. I dislike Carrot Top but not to the point of phobia. The exceptions are Celine Dion, spiders and the bottom of ships.

Spiders are obvious. They're creepy and, when extremely large ones are encountered, I will scream like a little girl. (Okay, I've never actually screamed like a little girl but I have run away like a little girl.) Celine Dion should be equally obvious. She's like a giant, vocally-talented praying mantis. It's the bottom of boat thing that I'll admit is a little strange. Show me a shipwreck, old abandon ships, overturned freighters or a ship scrapyard and I'll look as long as I can but eventually I'll have to look away. It triggers something deeply creepy in me that I don't completely understand.

What creeps you out the most? And do you know why or is it completely irrational?

Posted by Chris at 7:35 AM | Comments (9)

June 19, 2012

Freakshow Part 182

Those of you who've been reading since the good old days - when blogs were cool, DSL was fast, and I hadn't yet achieved dadhood - might recall the fact that I've always been something of a freak magnet, particularly in the bathroom. Those odd encounters are few and far between these days, especially since I work from home a bit and the only freak to encounter is myself.

Occasionally, however, I'm able to see that my freak magnetism hasn't worn off. As exemplified by the Tale Of Mr. OCD and Mr. Indecisive.

I was seated in the middle stall (please see Figure 1.1 for a helpful diagram) when Mr. OCD arrived on my left. Mr. OCD proceeded to lock the stall, remove his pants and boxers as well as all accessories they contained. He neatly folded his pants and lined up his phone, keys, and other assorted goodies on the floor in a nice straight line as though to survey all he brought him. Now, I've always maintained that I don't understand people who drop trou completely because frankly a men's room floor isn't the place for clothes or, really, anything. But this so thoroughly confused me that I almost didn't notice Mr. Indecisive entering the stall on my right.

Mr. Indecisive clearly had commitment issues. He entered the stall, closed the door, stood and peed. An instant later, he dropped his pants, sat down, took care of business then, for act three, he stood up, turned around and peed again. I can think of no medical condition which would make this process necessary. I therefore consider him yet another bathroom freak.

Now, to encounter either of these individuals separately would be an experience but both at the same time was almost overwhelming. It was like having freaks in stereo.

So I assure you, readers, that my freakshine hasn't lost its luster. In case you were worried.

Posted by Chris at 7:12 AM | Comments (8)

June 18, 2012

Father's Day 2012

Yeah, Father's Day was pretty darn good. It's hard to beat breakfast in bed, a little time to read a book, a bike ride with the kids, the best sandwich in the world for lunch and dinner with my folks.

Yeah, Father's Day was good.

Posted by Chris at 7:58 AM | Comments (1)

Haiku For Monday #416

It should only be
Sunday. Right? The weekend can't
flown that quickly.

Posted by Chris at 7:57 AM | Comments (1)

June 15, 2012

The Weeklies #217

The Weekly Affliction. Ten hour plus work days.

The Weekly TV. We have fully succumbed to the awesomeness that is Mad Men while also realizing that our TiVo has nothing on it except all the episodes of this season's So You Think You Can Dance.

The Weekly Scandal. Lance Armstrong investigated again?

The Weekly Music. First thing Tuesday morning I downloaded Rush's Clockwork Angels. Chomping at the bit to get the latest Rush album is something of a rarity. I've always liked them but, to me, their last 20 years of work was just missing something. But there was a lot of buzz around this album. As it turns out that buzz is very well deserved. The last five Rush albums seemed to be about proving they could still rock. What they lost in the process was a certain interestingness that they regained with this release. Don't get me wrong - it still rocks but it's also full of fantastic lyrics, different sounds, and compelling ideas. This might be the best thing they've put out in thirty years.

The Weekly Read. I read absolutely nothing. Or, rather, I finished absolutely nothing.

The Weekly Place I'd Rather Be. Paris.

The Weekly Place I'd Rather Not Be. Syria...and Egypt.

The Weekly Question. How do you get your news?

Posted by Chris at 7:22 AM | Comments (4)

June 14, 2012

Nightmare On Cactus Street

Have you ever had one of those dreams - those terrible, realistic ones - that you wake up from, catch your breath, and suddenly realize to your unbridled relief that it was a dream?

I had one of those last night. It was horrific because it managed to encapsulate everything I have been worried about of late. My kids got lost (if you're a parent, you have that fear...constantly), one of my front teeth got twisted all around and had to be taken out (I keep meaning to make a dentist appointment because it's been...a while), I got fired (work's been good but busy), there were fireworks landing on the roof (fire bad), and we were invaded by a giant flying squid (I have absolutely no clue what that was about).

Then I woke up and I took a breath, looked over at my wife, heard the soft humming of children sleeping and ceiling fans whirring and realized that - oh thank god - none of what had gone through my head was real.

But, hey subconscious, take it easy on me tonight. 'Cos I can't take that shit two nights in a row.

(P.S. I also had a long, strange dream about sailing with the Golden Girls. My mind troubles me sometimes.)

Posted by Chris at 7:22 AM | Comments (5)

June 13, 2012

Stop Playing Your Guitar (I Want Some Jello)

Evenings are hard. With school winding down and summer activities starting up, our evenings are temporarily quite full. And since Owen gets up with the obnoxious birds at the crack of dawn, by the time dusk is arriving, he’s quite tired and much less willing to be cooperative than he normally is.

As Beth left for rehearsal last night she muttered sorry and headed for the car. Owen, having not had much dinner at all, insisted that I stop strumming my guitar and give him Jello. I declined to comply with this request. Overall, I did fine, though, wrangling our two wild children through their evening routine getting them into bed with the aid of only one alcoholic beverage. I was feeling all modern and shit until the point at which I said …then you best behave. Then I felt like I was a father in the 1930’s who could complete the sentence by saying …or else I’ll learn ya with a switch for the old willow tree then make you milk the cows for the rest of the week. I did not, however, say that.

What’s funny about kids is their innate ability to have little glimmers of awesomeness even when they’re deeply committed to being pills. Mia for instance. After a rough evening, she crawled into Owen’s bed to give him a goodnight hug.

Mia: You’re the best little brother in the world.
Me: That was sweet.
Mia: You’ll notice I didn’t say best brother in the world. Just best little brother.
Me: Oh. I noticed that. Less sweet but still nice.
Mia: But the good thing about being the only brother is that he doesn’t have any competition. So of course he’s the best.
Me: Okay, I go back to that being sweet then, Mia.

So, here's to those sweet glimmers. And Jello.

Posted by Chris at 7:52 AM | Comments (2)

June 12, 2012


I had a good day yesterday. I celebrated by spending the evening with my favorite little people since Beth had a rehearsal and Mia was just getting over a massive ear infection and needed another good night's sleep. We played a little Star Wars Wii (though I quickly changed my mind about the long term viability of everyone playing when no one would follow instructions), read a couple of books aloud then I got pinned down by aforementioned little people and tickled.

Me: Did you have a good day today?
Mia: Yep. Did you?
Me: You know, I did. I was really busy but it was a good day.
Mia: That deserves some congratulations. Mazel-toes!
Owen: Mazel-toes!!
Me: Ha! Mazel-toes. What are those.
Owen: Mazel-toes!!
Mia: They're kind of like Mazel-fingers.

There are some mistakes your kids make that you correct. There are others you hold on to for a while, clearly at their expense. This was the latter.

Posted by Chris at 7:10 AM | Comments (7)

June 11, 2012


Remember Mad Max? The post-apocalyptic world was run by those who had gas who, in turn, were chased by shirtless mohawked dudes who wantedgas? Brooding, bad acting, explosions and car chases ensued.

That's kinda like our house. Except instead of gas, the local economy completely runs on Chapstick.

Yesterday, Beth came home from Costco with a gigantic package of Chapstick. There was more Chapstick than I thought existed in one place at any give time. Certainly more than enough to address the chapping of a small third world country for the rest of its existence. And the Cactus-Fish family did battle that day for the most glorious selection of flavors.

Owen went for the fruit-flavored variety - strawberry and cherry - while Mia went old-school opting for the original black labe. I zeroed in on the blue. Beth satisfied herself with ultra.

Of course, Beth is the primary Chapstick addict in the family. Had anyone gotten in her way they would have lost an arm. Beth strategically places tubes of Chapstick around the house, her purse, her car. Anywhere she exists most often. I wouldn't be surprised if she had a couple strategically hidden in Target or the grocery store. At some point I'm sure we'll have to find a 12-step program for her - chapanon - but in the mean time I'll admire her lusciously moist lips and hold a couple tubes of Chapstick in reserve in case I find myself in the doghouse.

Diamonds? A girl's best friend? Not in this house.

Posted by Chris at 7:07 AM | Comments (8)

Haiku For Monday #415

I'm not sure how it's
happening. Time keeps flying
faster. And faster.

Posted by Chris at 7:01 AM

June 8, 2012

The Weeklies #216

The Weekly Affliction. Sick kids.

The Weekly Disappointing Superhero. Owen's been listening to a lot of the old 1940's Superman radio broadcasts before he falls asleep. Being a fan of old radio, I love them. Except for something I noticed. Old-school radio Superman? Kind of a douchebag.

The Weekly TV. Outcasts. I stumbled on this BBC sci-fi series and it's incredibly good. Sadly, I'm on episode four and the whole thing lasts a mere eight shows. Sadness.

The Weekly Cool Fact That I Did Not Know. Did you know the Great Wall of China hadn't been officially measured - including all it's parts and pieces - before? As it turns out its nearly twice as long as we all thought clocking in at nearly 13,000 miles. It's, um, great.

The Weekly Read. I read Drive by James Sallis this week. It was an odd, eerie noir novel that was recently turned into a movie. I haven't seen the movie but that might change. If it's half as good as the book, it'll be a winner. The novel was solid and gritty with very spare prose. My only complaint was the constant shift between present and past. Because of the spare prose, it wasn't always clear when we were but it all worked out in the end.

The Weekly Autotune Awesomeness. I love Mr. Rogers. The day he died, my mom called me at 6:00 in the morning so she could make sure that I heard the news from her. So it's no wonder I love this so much:

The Weekly Reason To Celebrate. Happy Transit of Venus!

The Weekly Music. Mr. Trololo has died. If you have no idea what I'm talking about watch this. It'll be the strangest 2 minutes and 42 seconds you've ever spent.

The Weekly Question. So, Miley Cyrus is getting hitched. What's the over/under on how long that'll last?

Posted by Chris at 8:08 AM | Comments (6)

June 7, 2012

Catch Up

I feel like I've been so involved ranting or trying to figure out the next great subject to write about that I totally dropped the ball on a few things lately. So, here's what's been going on behind the scenes lately.

Mad Men. I finally listened and you guys were right. It took a bit of persistence but Beth and I renewed our attempt to get into Mad Men and were richly rewarded. We're a little better than halfway through the first season and it's nothing short of awesome. What keeps me entertained the most is the sheer awkward factor. And that source of that awkwardness is the time period. I can't believe that - not so very long ago - people actually behaved that way, especially the men. About shows...

The Musical. You might recall that Beth and Mia auditioned for and performed in a play last winter. They're at it again, though this time it's a musical. Singing, dancing, the whole nine yards. That combined with the remainder of Mia's school year and the start of swim team yields some...

Really Hectic Days. Most days lately start early and end late. The evening shift is probably the most stressful. Mia gets off the bus around 4:00, goes to swim team practice at 4:30, then the kids get baths, we eat dinner and the actresses are off for rehearsal at 6:30. It wouldn't be bad if we didn't have such...

Early Mornings. Know how the sun comes up earlier in the summer? Yeah, Owen's familiar with that too. The second the sun cracks the horizon, that kids is up and moving. Never mind the fact that we have black-out shades on EVERY ROOM ON THE SECOND FLOOR, the kid wakes with the dawn then insists that we keep him company in the land of the awake. Of course, neither Beth nor I has been asleep since 4:30 due to the...

Loud Fucking Birds. We have birds in our neighborhood that have to be the loudest birds to ever grace this good earth. Either that or they're fucking huge. Like, elephant huge. Unfortunately they get up well before Owen and since they particularly enjoy a tree right outside the master bedroom window, Beth and I seem to get up with them. I didn't think you'd believe me about how loud they were so yesterday morning, I broke out my iPhone at 4:38 AM and recorded them. Of course, it was 4:38 in the morning so I later found out that I hadn't recorded anything, merely snapped 83 pictures of the palm of my hand.

So, that's what's up with me. How about you?

Posted by Chris at 7:44 AM | Comments (7)

June 6, 2012

Let's Get Physical

For years I've hated the question do you exercise? especially coming from doctors. When I say no, unless you count popping the tops on a few beers exercise, which incidentally, I do they usually look at me funny and tell me all about how it helps avoid stress and death. Then I throw back some facts - I weigh exactly what I should weigh, my cholesterol is a touch high but I have the blood pressure of a ninja, I take no medication for anything other than my slightly anxious brain, and I can run two miles right now if you want me to. But they have to have the last word so they say something like well, you should still try it.

Over the last couple of years I've felt a little too sedentary and I've noticed that the gulf between my energy and that of my kids is widening. I've also watched my hot wife work out nearly every day and see real tangible benefits. A long time ago she became one of those annoying I just don't feel right if I don't exercise everyday people. I finally swallowed the Kool-Aid and gotten my ass (and the rest of me) on the treadmill. For the last few days I've done it pretty consistently and, as much as I hate to admit it, everyone was right. I do feel better. I think I'm calmer. And yesterday afternoon I found myself actually looking forward to it.

I fucking hate it when everyone else is right. But I still maintain that opening beer is an exercise.

What's your workout of choice?

Posted by Chris at 7:52 AM | Comments (14)

June 5, 2012

Brainwashing, Part II

Neither Beth nor I would last homeschooling our kids. But they're my kids, my DNA, so I should be the one who gets the brainwash them. Not the school's.

Ever since godknowswhen, Mia's school's put on an end-of-year field day. It's old-school and what I remember from elementary school (as long as I block out all the squaredancing for Jesus I was forced to do). I went last year and, despite the fact that it was a million degrees outside, it was awesome.

This year, because time marches on stomping all over good things in favor of mediocrity, field day is dead. It's been replaced by a slick, corporate-backed fun-run organized by people who I believe to be more evil than Karl Rove dressed in a clown suit luring kids into the back of a ice cream van.

Instead of taking part in a fun day of outside activities, kids are encouraged to take part in a week-long fun run. (Note, this does not mean they run for a week straight. That would be truly evil. Instead, they participate a little bit each day in the hopes of accumulating laps over the space of a week.) Mia came home the other day and told me all about it - the event, logistics and, especially the prizes. Then she told me the marching orders she got from an assembly held that day - ask everyone you know for money except your teachers, strangers or other students.

This really isn't a fun run. It's whoring kids out for cash. I have no idea how much money goes to the schools, how much pays corporate salaries and how much goes to shitty prizes but I do know that parents are put in a no-win situation. And I resent it. Fiercely. This kind of thing pressures both kids and parents to participate. Kids can't say no because all of their friends are doing it. And what parents wants to sit their kid out when that decision will impact their kid, not them?

I make okay money. If someone would tell me how much they want from me at the beginning of the school year, I'd gladly write a check. It would be far better than luring my kids with promises of crappy prizes to hit up everyone they know for money. I'm happy to put time, effort and money into supporting schools but I resent that it's done through teaching our kids that money and stuff make things worthwhile and, worse, fixes everything.

I believe in the public education system in our country. Teachers and supportive, engaged parents shoulder a huge load and don't get the recognition they so truly deserve. I don't blame PTAs or teachers or school systems for this. The simple fact is that schools need help - any help they can get. If schools were adequately funded this would likely be a non-issue.

Posted by Chris at 7:08 AM | Comments (17)

June 4, 2012


Allow me a little introspection on a Monday morning.

I'm coming to realize that as creative and free-spirited as I like to think of myself, I don't do things halfway. Not to say that creativity and free-spiritedness are signs of slackerdom. I'm thinking about recent behavior.

- I didn't contribute to a paper at work. I wrote the whole thing.
- I didn't buy someone a drink. I bought everyone a drink.
- When I ran - a rare thing - I didn't run a mile my first time out. I ran four.
- I organized my music collection online. I didn't just rip half my CDs. I ripped them all (3,000+), found the artwork, labeled and sorted everything and purchased albums to fill the holes.

I used to do things halfway. Especially when it came to high school math. My dad would agree. He always told me to give everything my best shot and never understood when I didn't. He was right though. I half-assed most of my school career. I just wasn't interested.

In the back of my mind, I always knew that I wouldn't be able to get away with half-assery for ever and I wondered whether and when I'd step up. As it turns out, I've become something of a go big or go home kind of guy.

How does your personality now differ from when you were a kid?

Posted by Chris at 7:16 AM | Comments (2)

Haiku For Monday #414

A jam-packed weekend
leads to some Monday morning
exhaustion. Coffee.

Posted by Chris at 7:03 AM

June 1, 2012

The Weeklies #215

The Weekly Sign That Summer's Here. Swim team season!

The Weekly TV. I think I accidentally got Owen hooked on old-school Buck Rogers episodes. Gil Gerard was the man! (Bet you didn't think you'd hear that sentence today.)

The Weekly Arch Enemy. Air conditioning. Don't get me wrong. I love not living in a third world country, having indoor plumbing and the ability to control the temperature of my house. But for some reason this year the air conditioning is driving me (and my sinuses) nuts.

The Weekly Read. Ed McBain wrote over 50 87th Precinct novels which take place in an entirely fictional city modeled after New York. They were all just recently re-released and I got curious so I picked one up. I've read about three or four with Ten Plus One being the latest. It was astoundingly good. It's not just that they're well plotted or written. McBain is a fantastic writer who can write a hilarious sentence or briefly depart from your standard police procedural to deliver an astonishingly brilliant page about post WWII discrimination against Jews. The most amazing thing is that this particular entry was written in 1963 and, like all McBain's books, it holds up.

The Weekly Music. Old Zeppelin bootlegs from the early and mid 70s. They're a legendary band for a reason.

The Weekly Suck It, Asshats. The FDA ruled this week that high fructose corn syrup could not be called corn sugar. I recommend it be called crap that if consumed separately and in slightly larger quantities would kill you dead. But perhaps I've got a bit of a bias.

The Weekly Challenge. I'm pretty sure the pain involved in reentry is directly proportionate to the amount of fun you had on vacation. That explains why getting back to work on Tuesday was an absolute pain in the ass.

The Weekly Schadenfreude. Whilst interviewing Martin Short, Kathie Lee Gifford politely asked after his wife. Unfortunately she's been dead for two years.

The Weekly Question. What's the best thing about summer?

Posted by Chris at 7:50 AM | Comments (12)